Some restaurants and patrons have confirmed a “COVID surcharge” on meals in several states.
Brad White, the owner of Goog’s Pub & Grub in Holland, Michigan, said he implemented his own surcharge for the virus to cover the skyrocketing cost of food and restaurant supplies.
White told TMZ that his establishment added an 86-cent charge to all bills to pay for to-go bags, condiments, utensils, and styrofoam containers. Michigan restaurants, under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, can only provide takeout and delivery only.
White noted that his restaurant, before the pandemic, paid about $50 for a case of beef. Now, he has to pay $96 for a case. A number of meatpacking plants have been forced to close as workers have been infected with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus—a novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19—driving up the cost of meat.
After facing some criticism online, White told the website that he’s not trying to exploit the pandemic: “That’s the furthest thing from the truth.” He has also had to lay off about 20 employees.
In Missouri, Bootleggers BBQ owner Brian Staack said he is charging a surcharge to cover extra costs associated with the pandemic.
“It’s not a tax. It’s basically just a small percentage to cover all of our extra expenses,” he told local station KY3.
Nearby Ozark Cafe and the Kiko Japanese Steakhouse also confirmed they are charging extra.
“Everyday there’s something else that they can’t get or the prices have gone up exorbitantly,” Ozark Cafe co-owner Heather Hughes told the station. “Our fillet prices, our rib eyes, most of our customer steak, and even our shrimp now is becoming double in price. Plus, our chicken,” Kiko manager Sarah Sherwood told the station.
Kiko explained on Facebook the reasons for the surcharge after employees were “harassed.”
“Recently our employees been getting harassed due to some peoples miss-use the actual picture of our receipt from our actual customer that being going around on social media, even trending on twitter due to the surcharge title!” the post read.
The restaurant explained: “Please understand we are not doing this to take advantage of you guys! We are doing this hoping we can adjust the surcharge weekly rather than just raise all of our prices on our menu due to increase prices from our supplier on meat, poultry, seafood & produce. Almost all of us here getting our supply through the same supplier. So why are we the one that being harassed??!! Stop calling names to my employees!! They are just working there, go ask the meat packer not us!! We are just buying it from them!! Because somewhere high up the food supply meat chain is broken & causing this prices going up!!”